Stream Restoration Project in Lancaster County Completed
Wildlife For Everyone Foundation aids U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to improve Martic Township aquatic habitat.
A recently completed restoration project for a portion of Climber Run in Martic Township helped eliminate bank erosion and enhance aquatic habitat near the SR 324 bridge in Lancaster County, PA. Wildlife For Everyone Foundation provided critical support for the project, which was managed through an interagency agreement between U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services (USFWS) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
The USFWS deemed additional improvement work on Climber Run was necessary following a project to complete fencing, riparian buffer enhancement, and streambank stabilization along the stream. During the project, crews discovered that a portion of water flow was actively migrating towards river left and recent storms had exacerbated the movement. The stream flow resulted in an undercut road embankment and erosion near a bridge abutment adjacent to SR 324.
USFWS and PennDOT developed a plan to restore and stabilize an additional 100 feet of Climber Run, a tributary to Tucquan Creek. The restoration included a 100-foot relocation of Climber Run into a relic channel to bring it into a more stable alignment as it moved through the existing bridge opening. Excavation proceeded from the downstream end of the new channel to the upstream end prior to rerouting the flow. This process helped minimize sediment transport downstream.
|Before: Looking upstream from SR 324 Bridge|
|After: From bridge, looking upstream at project area. Log Vanes 1, 2, and 3 are seen on river left along the bankfull bench.|
Excavated material from the new channel was stockpiled on the bank of the existing channel, and subsequently used to fill in the old channel. A bankfull bench was constructed with this material on the left bank to bring the stream to its appropriate dimension, as determined by the stable reaches upstream and downstream. The bankfull bench was stabilized with three log vanes, which will keep high velocity flows away from the banks and gently direct it towards the center of the channel as it flows through the bridge. Log vanes also provide significant pool habitat for aquatic resources using Climber Run.
Overall, this project had multiple benefits:
- stabilizing the banks of Climber Run
- reducing the erosion and subsequent encroachment of the stream into private and public property
- significantly reducing sediment input
- improving the aquatic habitat by providing a more natural and healthy stream channel
|Before: Looking downstream from SR 324 Bridge|
|After: From upstream end of project, looking downstream.|
The reduction of fine sediment in the stream makes it more conducive to fish reproduction. Log vanes introduced to areas of the stream provide habitat for many aquatic species. Native vegetation established on the banks of the restored section also provides added protection from future erosion and increased habitat for wildlife species. Construction on these enhancements was completed in late fall 2010.